Friday, October 29, 2010

Blooming Friday ~ Water

I grew up living next to a lake and I still miss it. I loved to watch the moon's reflection or the sun striking a dazzle on the water. A creek borders the property where I live now, home to wood ducks, great blue herons, prothonotary warblers, beavers, mink, turtles and freshwater mussels. I walked down to the creek a couple of days ago after checking the progress of bald cypress seedlings next to a small pond in one of the fields. Strong winds had ripped some of the leaves off of the trees (they're just in the middle of turning now) and settled just under the water at the creek's edge, while the water reflected the remaining leaves on the trees above.

On a much smaller scale, flowers are extra lovely when they are wreathed with dew. The perfect pink buds of Blush Noisette open to soft romantic flowers with a fragrance to match.

'Marie Pavie'

Dew makes this bloom of Lindheimer's muhly look as though it
was silvered with frost, when the temperature was over 60 degrees.

I can still see the sun dazzle, not on a lake but in the garden.

R. palustris foliage

Aromatic aster

Chrysanthemum 'Venus'

Happy Friday, and thanks to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday

Today doesn't feel like fall. After picking the horses' paddock and snapping pictures for Wildflower Wednesday, I had to rinse off in the shower first before putting the pictures in the computer. But looking around, there's no mistaking fall is here.

I love the lemon yellow tones of the leaves of American Beautyberry. The yellow not only looks terrific with the bright purple berries, it gives the leaves a wonderful translucence.

The big bank of wild Sweet Pepperbush by the old house site has turned a lovely golden color.

The tree in the background with the butterscotch leaves is the only good-sized Sassafras
tree on the property. I'd love to have more but they're not the easiest trees to get started.

Wild blueberry

and sumac are turning brilliant shades of red. The blueberry leaves are
likely to continue to change and keep their leaves well into December.

Swamp sunflowers always bloom here during the month of October, and are a favorite B&B
of the little bees. At dusk it's not uncommon to see bees clinging to the flowers fast asleep.

The graceful purplish silver plumes of Lindheimer's Muhly are worth waiting for.

Dog Fennel has outgrown its ugly duckling phase and is very beautiful this time of year. I haven't
got a group picture yet, but it's especially captivating en masse and in the late afternoon sunlight.

Happy to see Gerardia back this year. This, the frost and calico asters, groundsel trees, and white turtlehead are the latest things that grow wild here to bloom. Soapwort is very late but I haven't seen that for a couple of years. Isn't the color of the Gerardia flowers beautiful? It literally glows, especially at twilight, and the flowers nod on delicate burgundy-colored stems.

Frost Asters end up acting as fillers in the garden and I actually
really like them, covered in flowers as they are. The bees love them too.

Fall wouldn't be complete without blue and purple asters.

Aromatic aster

Aster 'Miss Bessie' is starting her fall show with 'Ballerina' rose.

As far as I know 'Miss Bessie' is an especially colorful selection of
Symphyotrichum praealtum, Willow Aster. While very drought tolerant
like most asters, it will grow down into ditches in search of moisture.

Thank you Gail for starting this wonderful meme.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blooming Friday

The theme for this week's Blooming Friday is "against the light". My pictures may be more accurately described as bathed in light rather than against the light. My backlit shots usually end up looking murky.

A daylily from this past summer, 'Tupac Amaru'

I wish I knew the name of this iris -- have you ever seen one this shade of pink in an iris?

As always, thanks to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bejeweled, bedecked and bedazzling

The fence where the Mermaid rose is growing (and tearing the fence down) has been neglected this summer, so the past couple of days I've been working on clearing next to it. This process was not as much fun as you might think. If I had a nickel for every time I was pricked by blackberry branches and stabbed by cantankerous roses I'd be rich. There was a lot of "Bleep!" "Bleep!" "Bleepety bleep!" being uttered. There were mosquitos too. Frances wasn't kidding about 'Alberic Barbier''s long arms... several had snaked down to the ground, across the ditch and just kept going. I felt like I was performing some sort of mime/ clown act; pulling and pulling and pulling.... it reminded me of a video I saw in an anthropology class of a family of Eskimos getting out of a canoe. They just kept coming and coming! In self defense I wound the runners around the fence planks to get them out of the way. AB has extremely pliable canes so this was easy to do. The finished arrangement looks like spaghetti thrown into a sink; I should probably try to place them more artistically, later.

The following roses are not nearly as big, bold and bloodthirsty as the ones growing on the fence. Fall roses are always a delight. Little can compete with the beauty of a rose, especially when it's sparkling with dewdrops.

'Aloha' is the only Hybrid Tea that I have, because all of the others died. 'Double Delight' literally lasted about two weeks, which is about what I expected, but husband really wanted to try it because of the fragrance. (I spared him the I told you so, btw.) Even the 'Radiance' roses died and I've tried them twice. I think 'Aloha' is such a good doer because it's the offspring of 'New Dawn' and a very disease resistant Cl. Hybrid Tea named 'Mercedes Gallart'. The little blur above the rose is a hover fly zipping away.

All of these roses are fragrant and have distinctly different scents.

'Devoniensis', looking like ruffles of cream-colored taffeta

'Duchesse de Brabant'

'Old Blush'

'Blush Noisette'

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blooming Friday ~ Wild and Beautiful

American Beautyberry grows wild here, and can be very wild in form, but the bright purple berries are beautiful. The lacy white flowers are that of Dog Fennel, which will be at its most beautiful in about a month.

Swamp Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius)

Happy Friday, and thanks to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Funhouse Horses

A patient of my husband's wants to paint a picture of our horses to give to him for Christmas.

Taking head shots of horses without halters on is not as easy as it might seem! What I got looks like horses in a funhouse.

So I got Gene to go down with me one day, and the results weren't that much better. lol

Here Gene is trying to push Devor over into the frame. She kept sagging sidewise.

Prince was falling asleep.

The horses weren't too enthused with the project and kept sticking their tongues out. When horses relax they tend to chew a little bit. An example: you ask a horse to do something, they understand and then relax, at which time they lick their lips and chew a little.

I could not get them both facing me and in focus.

Here Gene is scratching their withers. Right now they're shedding out their summer coats and the one spot they can't scratch is right behind their withers. They could if they mutually groomed, but these two do not, I think because Prince is just too tall for Devor. Look at the expression on Prince's face. Does he look happy or what? Such a dork.

Just to keep it garden related -- here's a still-tiny rose
that is nevertheless a great charmer, Pink Clotilde Soupert.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bidens and Butterflies

Now that the weather has cooled off a bit the Swallowtails have disappeared,
but there are still lots of Monarchs, Sulfurs and Pearly Crescents around.

This year has been a stellar year for Common Buckeyes as well as swallowtails. When I was mowing one of the pastures a couple of weeks ago there must have been at least a hundred Buckeyes in there; they were feeding on some sort of grassy weed that has rectangular green and black linearly arranged flowers . The weed is very common, I wish I knew the name. I've never seen so many Buckeyes at once. So I decided to just mow half of the field. Randy of Randy and Meg's Garden Paradise posted here that Gerardia is one of the host plants of the Buckeye and I've seen a lot of it blooming in the ditches and at the edges of the pastures. I'm happy to see Gerardia this year, as I couldn't find any last year and it's one of the loveliest of native wildflowers.

A little raggedy but still lovely Buckeye

Blue Lobelia is blooming in the ditches as well. I've never been able to keep this
successfully in the garden so I just enjoy seeing it wherever it pops up.

The Bidens are mostly done now and the Swamp Sunflowers are now blooming,
but I wanted to post these two pictures from Sept. 20th.

Good news! The well was never actually low. Instead there was a crack in the casing above the pump, so the pump was pumping continually and much of the water was leaking right back into the well.

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